Preparing for floods and cyclones during COVID-19

As Australia enters ‘La Niña’ watch, emergency service and climate scientists will outline how we can best respond to floods and cyclones while also grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Hosted by The Australian National University this Wednesday, the virtual forum will examine the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on flood and cyclone preparedness, response and recovery.

Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute, Professor Mark Howden said the question was “critical” as Australia entered a La Niña cycle. 

“We all know that Australia is the land of droughts and flooding rains, and a key driver of this climate variability is whether we are in an El Niño or a La Niña,” he said.

“These climatic events cost Australia and Australians dearly through impacts on droughts, fires, floods, and cyclones.

“This year the La Niña conditions are likely to increase risks of floods and cyclones and this will potentially put additional pressure on government finances, emergency services, and personal wellbeing because of the existing stress from the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Being aware of the risks, and how we can respond to them effectively, can make us all better off.”

Speakers at the forum include ANU climate scientist Dr Steven Crimp, Daniel Austin from the NSW State Emergency Services and Georgeina Whelan, Commissioner of ACT Emergency Services Agency.

The forum is organised by the Climate Change Institute and the Disaster Risk Science Institute at ANU, and is co-hosted with AFAC -- the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services.

Media can register to attend here


WHAT: Preparing for flooding & cyclones in the time of COVID-19

WHEN: 9.30-11am, Wednesday 23 September

WHERE: Online


For media assistance, contact the ANU Media Team on +61 2 6125 7979 or at   

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